Letters to The Sun, June 19, 2021: Vancouver needs strategic focus to protect tourism industry

Premier Horgan has strived to protect the tourism-based economies of by pushing back against proposed American legislation to eliminate the requirement for U.S.-based vessels to make a stop in Canada. This rear-guard action is reactive and lacks a strategic focus that should consider first what a cruise tourist would want to see and enjoy in a port stopover

B.C. Premier John Horgan has strived to protect the tourism-based economies of Vancouver, Victoria and Prince Rupert by pushing back against American legislation to eliminate the requirement for U.S.-based vessels to make a stop in Canada. This rearguard action is reactive and lacks a strategic focus that should consider first what a cruise tourist would want to see and enjoy in a port stopover.

The Vancouver waterfront needs a grander plan than the hodgepodge of roads and hotels that exists. The seawall to Stanley Park is wonderful. A stroll through Gastown, less so. Go beyond, en route to Chinatown, currently suffering decline, leads to the Downtown Eastside. No further comment.

Walk up to the centre of town via Granville St to the revitalized Robson Square is a good experience, but not a great experience befitting a world-class city.

Fortunately, for Vancouver, we have Simon Fraser University downtown and it has stepped forward to ask the necessary questions to look forward. In April it held two online discussions on the future of the waterfront. The outcome was that all levels of government need to come together under the leadership of our mayor to form a long term plan that makes the waterfront an exciting portal to Vancouver.

In the past few days, SFU has again stepped up to the plate and asked the question “Beyond COVID — Reimagining (Vancouver) our city centre?” Lots of ideas about more open spaces for events, coffee and food vending, fewer restrictions on entrepreneurial initiatives. But, that is at a tactical level of planning.

As a participant in these discussions, Granville Street stood out as our greatest opportunity. In almost 50 years of living here, I have never taken visitors along Granville south of Robson. Sadly the extensive work carried out by the Downtown Vancouver Business Association to poll opinions has not stayed upfront and centre in guiding council policy. I would urge Mayor Kennedy Stewart to add the fourth ball to the juggling of affordable housing, ecological sustainability and the mental health crisis. That fourth ball should be the revitalization of Downtown Vancouver.

Nothing is sustainable unless we get the economy revitalized and that must include tourism.

David Grigg, Vancouver

Deny American cruise ships the right to use our waters

Seems to me if the American cruise ships don’t want to visit our cities, as part of an international agreement between our countries, then they should be denied the right to use our waters for passage.

If I am not mistaken, a large part of the attraction for a voyage to Alaska takes place sailing up the Inland Passage and along our coast.

Let them sail up our coast, but out in international waters and see how much the passengers will enjoy the endless ocean view instead of mountains and fiords.

Great selling feature! “No mountains, no bays or harbours, just water.” I can see the advertising now.

If they can unilaterally void international agreements, then we can do likewise for the cruise industry.

John Robertson, Vancouver

Canadians should consider boycotting U.S.-owned cruise lines

If U.S. senators want to change their legislation in order for U.S. cruise ships to permanently bypass Canadian ports this year (and beyond), then Canadians should take their vacations outside of the U.S. for the foreseeable future.

Canadians should seriously consider boycotting U.S.-owned cruise lines altogether, for at least the next cruise ship season.

According to, Canada ranked 6th in the top 10 countries that love cruising; that was 800,00 Canadian cruise passengers in 2016. Canada ranked below the U.S., China, Germany, the UK, and Australia, and was equal to Italy, in terms of the numbers. This Canadian statistic represents a significant amount of tourism dollars that flow from our pockets to the U.S., by way of cruising.

There are other great marine vacation alternatives to U.S. cruises that can be found in Canada, Europe, Asia, etc., and don’t involve “walking the plank” of the American cruise ship industry.

A. Cameron, Vancouver

Thank you Dr. Bonnie Henry

When I heard your June 14, 2021 public meeting from Victoria, all of the sudden, you touched my heart and made me cry. These tears were tears of hope. Hope and healing for everybody in our province, in our country and around the world. If my mother and sister could hear you in Mexico City; you will make a big difference in that country as well.

Thank you Dr. Bonnie Henry for telling us once again that, we should cooperate with you and with others with compassion, kindness, diligence and commitment for the good of our communities and work places.

Maria Abrams, Surrey

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